Thursday, May 17, 2012

Review: "A Beautiful Mess"- Oestriecher

          A Beautiful Mess by Mark Oestriecher is a new e-book that is being given away for free for a limited time.  If you have not downloaded it yet, do it as soon as you get a chance, before it goes to the regular $7.99 price.  It is available at

A Beautiful Mess is a quick easy 4 chapter read that is outstanding on multiple levels.  An alternative title might be Youth Ministry 3.5, as it is in many ways an upgrade and addition to Marko’s Youth Ministry 3.0 book from a couple years ago.  This book takes on the current youth ministry climate & issues head on. Like any good upgrade this book continues to work to tweak and get rid of the bugs in the system. In classic Marko-style he kicks a few hornet’s nests but as usual reveals behind it an authentic heart for students and fellow workers.
            He talks of his personal ministry journey in the recent years and his own renewed vision for students, and challenges us to do the same.  He tackles some of the recent anti-youth ministry debate, while turning a discerning eye toward the need for longevity, the Holy Spirit, family-inclusiveness, understanding extended adolescents and a return to true relational youth ministry. Although he will admit to being somewhat  of a pessimist at times, he in the ends shows true optimism for the future of our students and for youth ministry..
            The only real criticism, if you can call it that, is that the book was not long enough.  The book leaves you wanting to hear more and to dig deeper into each topic that is addressed, and maybe that is its intent. I personally would like to see 4 more chapters or may be a full Youth Ministry 3.5 or even a Youth Ministry 3.0: Remixed? I guess as they say “don’t look a gift horse in the mouth”, so get your copy soon while they are still available as a free download!